by Anton Shilov
11/13/2006 | 02:15 PM
Nvidia Corp., a leading designer of graphics processors and core-logic sets, said it would release mobile graphics processors with the DirectX 10 support for the next-generation Intel Centrino Pro mobile platforms. The company’s chief executive officer said that such chips were already being “sampled” during the most recent quarter conference call.
Intel Centrino Pro mobile platform earlier code-named
Mr. Huang did not specify whether his company was sampling a special version of GeForce 8800 graphics processor for mobile computers, or was testing another GeForce 8-series architecture-based graphics chip specifically designed for laptops.
Nvidia’s GeForce 8800 GTX and 8800 GTS graphics processors are produced using 90nm low-k process technology and contain 681 million of transistors. The GeForce 8800 graphics processing units (GPUs) feature so-called unified shader architecture, where an array of up to 128 arithmetic logic units – which Nvidia calls as stream processors – can be assigned for either vertex, geometry or pixel shaders. The new chips are fully compliant with Microsoft DirectX 10 application programming interface.
Due to the fact that Nvidia has widened memory interface of the new desktop GeForce 8800-series processors to 320-bit and 384-bit from 256-bit on previous-generation products, the chips now have larger footprint and may not be compatible with traditional notebook GPU form-factors. It is likely that the mobile version of the GeForce 8800 – if there is any planned – will feature typical 256-bit memory bus and lower amount of execution units, e.g., 64 stream processors, 16 texture units, 16 raster operation units and so on. It is unclear, however, whether Nvidia plans to create a new chip, or simply disable some logic inside the GeForce 8800.
Intel’s Centrino Pro platform, which was earlier code-named
While generally the new platform has some features that its predecessors lack, it will not be easy for Intel to explain end-users the benefits of the Centrino Pro, as the new laptops will hardly enable any new usage scenarios, but will simply boost performance. But if Nvidia leaves its DirectX 10 mobile GPUs only for the new mobile platform, the latter may receive more attention from consumers looking forward high performance graphics, gaming and so on. Furthermore, sales of both Centrino Pro components as well as DirectX 10 GPUs will be accelerated by the launch of the new operating system from Microsoft.